In response to the COVID-19 crisis and the limitations it has placed upon sharing in-gallery experiences and materials with our audiences, the Hood Museum of Art is pleased to announce that it is now capturing physical gallery spaces with 3D Matterport™ imaging equipment and software. As of now, all who have been unable to visit the museum due to its closure during Dartmouth's COVID-19 campus restrictions can enjoy selected exhibitions from home. These 3D virtual tours also provide access to those who would never otherwise have had the opportunity to visit the exhibitions in person. Each tour is rich in contextual texts, video, audio, and teaching materials. Users can also view Matterport™ spaces using virtual reality equipment, such as the Oculus Quest and Oculus Go.
"Matterport provides the joy of exploration along with great visuals of the individual artworks in the exhibition, offering the semblance of traveling through the galleries from the comfort of home," says John Stomberg, the Virginia Rice Kelsey 1961s director of the Hood Museum.
The 3D virtual tours that are currently available to the public include Form & Relation: Contemporary Native Ceramics, Courtney M. Leonard's site-specific installation BREACH: Logbook 20 | NEBULOUS (presently on view in conjunction with Form & Relation), and José Clemente Orozco's mural cycle The Epic of American Civilization. To move through Matterport™ virtual spaces, users simply click on the transparent circles on the floor. Supplementary content can be accessed by clicking the color-coded dots throughout the space. More tours will be available soon, including the exhibition Reconstitution, the Assyrian reliefs, and the publicly inaccessible campus work by artist Florian Jenkins called The Temple Murals. Even after the galleries are once again open to the public, the museum plans to continue sharing exhibition content this way in order to broaden and better serve its audiences everywhere. Director John Stomberg notes, "The experience of virtual engagements with art differs from walking through real space, but these programs offer the freedom to come and go at will and to set a pace that is most comfortable for you—including multiple visits."
The Hood Museum of Art Matterport™ tours are made possible by a gift from Claire Foerster and Daniel Bernstein, Class of 1987.